Renault is selling its majority stake in the Russian car manufacturer AvtoVAZ to a Russian scientific institute, the French car group said on Monday. At the end of April, a Russian minister already stated that AvtoVAZ, the company behind car brand Lada, will be transferred to the Russian Ministry of Industry.
Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Renault has been in the stomach with the interest in AvtoVAZ. In March, the company decided to cease all operations at a Moscow car factory as a result of the war. In addition, sanctions also made it increasingly difficult to keep the factories in Russia, which made both Lada vehicles and Renault models, running.
The French automaker, which has the most activity in Russia of all Western automakers, is selling its nearly 68 percent stake in AvtoVAZ to Russia’s Central Research and Development Institute for Automobiles and Motorcycles, called Nami. Renault does have the option to buy back the stake in six years.
“Today we made a difficult but necessary decision and we are making a responsible choice for our 45,000 employees in Russia,” said CEO Luca de Meo in a commentary on the deal.
Financial details of the transaction were not given. Renault, which is 15 percent owned by the French state, already announced in March that it will set aside almost 2.2 billion euros in the first half of this year to finance the withdrawal from Russia.